Academic journal article Science Scope

Black Hole Blows Big Bubble

Academic journal article Science Scope

Black Hole Blows Big Bubble

Article excerpt

Combining observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, astronomers have uncovered the most powerful pair of jets ever seen from a stellar black hole. This object, also known as a microquasar, blows a huge bubble of hot gas, 1,000 light-years across, twice as large and tens of times more powerful than other known microquasars.

"We have been astonished by how much energy is injected into the gas by the black hole," says lead author Manfred Pakull. "This black hole is just a few solar masses, but is a real miniature version o f the most po werful quasars and radio galaxies, which contain black holes with masses of a few million times that of the Sun."

Black holes are known to release a prodigious amount of energy when they swallow matter. It was thought that most of the energy came out in the form of radiation, predominantly x-rays. However, the new findings show that some black holes can

release at least as much energy, and perhaps much more, in the form of collimated jets of fast-moving particles. …

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